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upgrade choices, build or buy, or both

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One of my 800XL's is dying and I was thinking about moving to another machine. But do I upgrade it myself or buy one completed. I've reviewed discussions on using a 600XL and adding high RAM. I've seen 800XL with upgrades, and 32-in-1 OS's. Video upgrades.

 

With a balance of price, performance, and options; what would be best for:

 

- coding on.

- playing games requiring 400/800/800XL OS's (I guess A/B/..)

- something where cartridges can fit (my 1200XL doesn't like all carts).

- Great video for flat screenand older RCA's.

 

What would you get? 600XL/800XL/??

What upgrades? Memory, Video, OS's. (I've seen AtariMax OS upgrade: http://www.atarimax..../documentation/)

Who does the work? Or provides upgraded machines?

 

 

What would be your ideal machine. Thanx.

Edited by chrislynn5

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My suggestion would have been a 1200XL, the best, bar none, if you are going to upgrade anyway. But you say it has cartridge problems. I haven't used many cartridges since I've owned a 1200XL, what cartridges don't fit? After looking closer I see that the cartridge slots on my 600/800XL's are about an 1/8 of an inch wider, never noticed before...the 1200XL has such a large accessable port, I didn't realize it was a bit narrower up in there. That part of the case, which is a seperate piece from the rest, could be easily modified.

 

As for OS's, the only real incompatibilities are between the 4/800's and the XL/XE's. So for full compatibility, OS wise across all Atari 8-bits you need a minimum of 2 OS's; the 4/800 and any XL/XE OS after the 1200XL (which is on two chips and wouldn't work anyway). Or, you can just use a translator disk, except for those few 800 cartridges that won't work.

 

If you have the money, the easiest thing to do is get an Ape 32-in-1 OS, or find one of the older OS expansion boards from back in the day. The only other option is to build your own from scratch which requires an eprom burner too, unless you know someone who can burn the OS's for you.

 

As for memory, you might as well jump on the Ultimat 1MB bandwagon that's happening right now, though there were and are other user or dealer options too. I personally recommend the original Rambo XL upgrade, which can be further upgraded to 512K, if you can't find the Rambo, AtariMax sells an unadvertized Rambo compatible upgrade, also upgradable to 512K, And of course building your own Claus Bucholz or other more modern memory mod.

 

If you want upgraded video, on any Atari XL/XE, I recommend the SV 2.1, at least as a starting point, some have made modifications to it that have worked best for their monitor. There are no ready-made installable video upgrades except the RGB one included in the VBXE video board.

 

If the 1200XL didn't exist, I would recommend the 800XL or an 800 with the user-made XE board in it.

 

I've heard mention here that MetalGuy66 might do contract work for repairs and upgrades, but not from him personally. There are others. I do all these upgrades myself, and repairs, but I must have the ability to do them at my liesure, so I only do it with machines I aquire on my own. I am currenlty in possesion of a 600XL and 800XL that are my current repair and upgrade projects which will be sold when done...days...weeks...months...if you want to send a computer with the knowledge it might take up to a year and be suprised to recieve it back sooner, I'll consider it.

 

But I have a question for you; what about your current 800XL is "dying?" It may be that whatever is going bad can be repaired easily, or may even repair itself in the course of upgrading it.

Edited by Gunstar

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The 1200XL has a tight cartridge slot that I've found can be difficult. I like the 800XL's flap slot. What would make the 1200XL better than 800XL (after upgrades)?

What about an 800XL with memory upgrade (which one do you suggest?), video, and OS 32 in 1.

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I recomend Candles Ultimate 1 meg ram upgrade, it has multi OS built in, and RTC, and SDX.

600XL's are cool because of the small footprint, and in general they came with the Alps keyboard,problem with the US ones is that they only have RF output

1200xl's look great, have great keyboards (when they are working) and loads of space inside for all your lovely mods.

Really you pay your money and take your choice

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Have access to 6 1200 machines and one 1050. In boxes unfortunately i dont have the gas to get them. 120 gets you three of them and the drive ;)

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Have access to 6 1200 machines and one 1050. In boxes unfortunately i dont have the gas to get them. 120 gets you three of them and the drive ;)

 

I have a 1200XL. It sounds like you are selling 1200XL's? Shipping?

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No, need to go 2 states over from where i live. Someone has them new in box. Dont have the gas to go though. Bummee

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My suggestion would have been a 1200XL, the best, bar none, if you are going to upgrade anyway. But you say it has cartridge problems. I haven't used many cartridges since I've owned a 1200XL, what cartridges don't fit? After looking closer I see that the cartridge slots on my 600/800XL's are about an 1/8 of an inch wider, never noticed before...the 1200XL has such a large accessable port, I didn't realize it was a bit narrower up in there. That part of the case, which is a seperate piece from the rest, could be easily modified.

 

As for OS's, the only real incompatibilities are between the 4/800's and the XL/XE's. So for full compatibility, OS wise across all Atari 8-bits you need a minimum of 2 OS's; the 4/800 and any XL/XE OS after the 1200XL (which is on two chips and wouldn't work anyway). Or, you can just use a translator disk, except for those few 800 cartridges that won't work.

 

If you have the money, the easiest thing to do is get an Ape 32-in-1 OS, or find one of the older OS expansion boards from back in the day. The only other option is to build your own from scratch which requires an eprom burner too, unless you know someone who can burn the OS's for you.

 

As for memory, you might as well jump on the Ultimat 1MB bandwagon that's happening right now, though there were and are other user or dealer options too. I personally recommend the original Rambo XL upgrade, which can be further upgraded to 512K, if you can't find the Rambo, AtariMax sells an unadvertized Rambo compatible upgrade, also upgradable to 512K, And of course building your own Claus Bucholz or other more modern memory mod.

 

If you want upgraded video, on any Atari XL/XE, I recommend the SV 2.1, at least as a starting point, some have made modifications to it that have worked best for their monitor. There are no ready-made installable video upgrades except the RGB one included in the VBXE video board.

 

If the 1200XL didn't exist, I would recommend the 800XL or an 800 with the user-made XE board in it.

 

I've heard mention here that MetalGuy66 might do contract work for repairs and upgrades, but not from him personally. There are others. I do all these upgrades myself, and repairs, but I must have the ability to do them at my liesure, so I only do it with machines I aquire on my own. I am currenlty in possesion of a 600XL and 800XL that are my current repair and upgrade projects which will be sold when done...days...weeks...months...if you want to send a computer with the knowledge it might take up to a year and be suprised to recieve it back sooner, I'll consider it.

 

But I have a question for you; what about your current 800XL is "dying?" It may be that whatever is going bad can be repaired easily, or may even repair itself in the course of upgrading it.

 

You are correct, I haven't debug'd the 800XL. Got me thinking about getting a new, bigger, modded, machine.

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Where can I get:

- Ultimat 1MB (Atariage forum discusses it, but no info)?

- The video upgrade?

 

I'm still thinking that I'm going the 800xl route.

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Regarding s-video upgrades, months ago kjmann was selling a good upgrade (now his shop is closed).

But it is possible to buid that upgrade.

You can order Ultimate1MB from AA user candle:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/192930-ultimate1mb-new-preorder/

Edited by Philsan

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I would have to agree with the Ultimate1MB. It takes care of most of your upgrade needs in one shot. Plus you get one of the best DOS's there is (SpartaDosX) and a Realtime Clock.

 

If you get it, be sure to get the U1MB MMU Adapter to save you a bit of soldering.

Ultimate 1mb MMU Adapter

 

Also, you may want to look into one of the HDD or floppy addons for fast storage. IDEPlus 2.0, SIDE Cartridge, MyIDE, SIO2SD, etc...

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Chris, I think Candle is making another run... Pm him here for details. It's a great bit of kit.

 

To answer your initial question I prefer to take stock 800XL and upgrade myself. I have four currently in various stages of upgrade. The only machines I have paid to have upgraded are 130XEs as the boards are delicate, and a PAL 800XL with VBXE that candle installed just because he was already troubleshooting it.

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I think I will. I just saw his list and thought nothing has been made or has been shipped. Didn't know if it was a couple weeks wait or months. But I'll try him, thanx.

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